Yeah, so this is it, cats and kittens: The Big Secret Final Invasion War of the Clone Crisis Saga Blog Crossover Event. Or, as we like to call it, “What’s Your ‘Scott & Jean’?” For those new to the party (where the hell have you been, anyway?), your “Scott & Jean” is your geek sacred cow–the one thing that you are so passionate about that you just can not discuss it rationally.
I was trying to think of a logical introduction for this extravaganza, when one of my fellow Crossover bloggers pointed out that the very notion of a “Scott & Jean” eschews logic and, therefore, I should just feel free to rant. So, here goes:
I love Batman.
There’s really no other way to put it. I don’t mean I want to have Batman’s babies…well, mostly (but, let’s be honest: Batman’s one true love is Justice, so what chance do I really have? Unless Talia has some spare Wayne-gravy laying around). When I was a little kid, I had Batman action figures, Batman Matchbox cars, a Batman cape–please note: I did not say a “superhero cape”, this was a Batman cape…this sumbitch was scalloped. One of the first superhero comics I ever bought was Detective Comics #603.
Anyway, my point is this: I. Love. Batman.
But, y’see, it’s really not that simple, especially when you’re dealing with a character who’s about to hit his 70th anniversary. In the past seven decades, there have been numerous interpretations of the character. Some good. Some bad. But only one correct one.
That’s right. You heard what I said: for me, there is only one correct way to portray Batman. (Hey, I warned you this was going to be a logic-free zone.)
First of all, Batman is dark and broody. He watched his parents get gunned down when he was a little kid, for Christ’s sake…you’d be a bit cranky, too. This is the point when “my Batman” kinda snapped. He’s driven by this event. He devotes his entire life to both avenging his parents’ murder and making sure that no one in Gotham City ever has to suffer the same kind of tragedy. He figures this out on his own. He doesn’t need Joey-effing-Potter to clue him in. So, when you take into account that he’s a guy who watched his folks get gunned down in an alley, you can understand why these are just wrong:
This, however, is more like it:
I’ll get to all those non-Batman people hanging around Ol’ Bats in a second.
Now, we’ve established that the right tone for Batman is dark and broody. His costume is to be dark to reflect this: black or dark grey bodysuit with either uber-dark blue or black boots, gloves, cape and cowl. Accept no substitutes. This guy runs around at night, why the hell would he wear bright blue anything? He doesn’t smile. He rarely jokes. If he ever utters the word “chum”, he better be talking about shark fishing.
You’re probably asking yourself, why the hell would someone like that go out of their way to surround themselves with friends and associates? Now you’re catching on, Eugene: my Batman does not have friends and associates. With the exception of loyal Alfred (who’s been on thin-ice a few times, himself), my Batman is too practical and paranoid to worry about something as useless as friends. Friends don’t keep the criminal scum off the streets. No. But, tools do. If Batman spends more than five seconds in your company, he clearly needs you for something and, when that task has been accomplished, you better get the hell outta Gotham, because Bats doesn’t take kindly to interlopers in “his city.” Oh, and you better not expect a “Good job” or a “Thanks, pal”…Batman doesn’t have time for that, crime’s afoot. Oh, and did I mention he’s a paranoid freak? Odds are, if you can run faster than the speed of light or bend steel in your bare hands, he has a file on how to take you out should you ever “go bad.” What’s that you say? What about Robin and Batgirl? Please. The second they mouth off or show the slightest bit of independent thought, my Batman brooms his sidekick and gets another pliable young mind to warp.
My Batman is also a freakin’ genius. He’s called the “Dark Knight Detective” for a reason. Hello, he premiered in a book called DETECTIVE Comics. Did Bruce Wayne study martial arts? Sure. But, he also studied criminology, psychology, forensic science. He’s been trained as an escape artist and a master of disguise. Christopher Nolan will have us believe that Batman is just some thug in a cape who beats the snot out of gangsters and needs Morgan Freeman’s help to come up with an antidote for Scarecrow’s fear gas. Um, no. Sorry, Mr. Nolan, but you are wrong. Batman does not need anyone’s help coming up with an antidote. He can come up with an antidote in his sleep, while he does the crossword puzzle and designs a new Batmobile. Why? Because Batman is a freakin’ genius! That’s it. End of story. And do you know what else Batman can do? He can break into a skyscraper all by his lonesome, as well, thank you very much. I don’t care if it’s in Hong Kong. I don’t care if it’s on the Moon. He’ll get there, he’ll break in, and he’ll do it without your help.
Finally, if it hasn’t been made clear by this point, only Bruce Wayne can be Batman. I don’t care what hack writer DC throws at us…what dumb-ass “event” sends Bruce Wayne back in time or to Never-Never Land or wherever the bloody hell we’re expected to believe Batman’s been sent…Tim? Dick? Jason? They are not, nor ever will be, Batman. Only Bruce Wayne can be Batman, because Batman is Bruce Wayne. The Wayne persona is the mask that Batman wears to conceal his identity, not vice versa.
That’s who Batman is. It’s who he’s always been. It’s who he’ll always be. If a writer or an artist portrays Batman in any other way, they’re wrong. End of story. Thanks for playing.
Here endeth the rant.